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Re: Re: starship-design: Interstellar mission within fifty years

In a message dated 10/21/98 10:33:23 AM, zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl wrote:

>> From: KellySt@aol.com
>> In a message dated 10/13/98 10:34:17 AM, zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl wrote:
>> >> From: KellySt@aol.com
>> >> 
>> >> In a message dated 10/8/98 11:29:38 AM, zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl wrote:
>> >> 
>> >> Largely agree, but nano tech is not a requirement.
>> >> 
>> >Maybe not, but it will help significantly...
>> ..it will help significantly is the understatment of the century 
>> in regards to Nano-tech.  ;)
>I was careful, just in case you are a skeptic on this issue... ;-)
>> >> >Second, our starship should be a viable "permanent human 
>> >> >habitat in space", and rather large for that.
>> >> >How to build one without any prior experience?
>> >> >Do you think that the very first human space habitat will be 
>> >> >that going to another star?
>> >> 
>> >> Theres no reason a starship would need to be a perminent habitatate 
>> >> and a lot of real good reasons why it couldn't/shouldn't be. 
>> >>
>> >But for interstellar missions we will need such a habitat
>> >capable of sustaining hundreds of people for tens of years 
>> >(which by today's standards is close to "permanent"),
>> >in complete isolation from any help from outside.
>> >We do not have ANY experience in building such habitats in space,
>> >not even clear desigh concepts (e.g., concerning reliability
>> >and necessity for repair & manufacturing machinery - there were
>> >hot and inconclusive discussions on the list concerning these problems).
>> >I do not think one can build a starship from scratch
>> >WITHOUT prior exerience with similar space habitats actually
>> >working in relative isolation for tens of years
>> >(or at least several years).
>> >Till now we have only a little experience with habitats
>> >for several people that can work for several months
>> >on near-earth orbit. 
>> Leakage rates over decades are a big issue, but atmosphere and water
>> aer  much more straight forward.  I agree that we wouldn't put together and
>> launch a star ship without building and testing the hab ring for a couple
>> years, but testing for decades wouldn't be nessisary.  No more nessisary
>> pre testing a bridge for decades before we build it and open it to the
>But see, when building a bridge today, we tap hundreds of years
>of experience with building bridges, their failures, etc.
>But we have zero years of experience with building space habitats
>of the sort needed for a starship.

We do have decades of experience in closed artificial environments.  Starship
hab zones basically just have to provide a seeled presure vessel for the air
and water processors to work in.

>> >[...]
>> >> >True, but we should START going in the first place.
>> >> >Apollo seemed such a start - but after that first step,
>> >> >we made two steps back.
>> >> 
>> >> Actually in a lot of ways Apollo was the two steps back. Air Force
>> >> in the '60's leading toward mini space shuttles were scuttled to help
>> >> for space capsules. Also it gave NASA ownership of space that they have 
>> >> viciously defended.
>> >> 
>> >You are partly right, but, first, it is a good strategy
>> >to use as much of already proved technology rather than make 
>> >all the things anew. Second, obviosly some technology
>> >progress has been made, for example the Saturn V rocket,
>> >which is to this day one of the largest (if not still the largest) 
>> >as concerns carrying capacity. It would be more than sufficient
>> >as the Zubrin's Mars Direct booster - unfortunately its assembly
>> >lines were dismantled long ago and as far as I know,
>> >none is preserved (even rusted).
>> True the Sat-Vs were great heavy boosters for their day, but none could be
>> built and used today (even the tech to build the parts is long gone).  So
>> in all its pretty much a step that went no where, thou it did convince the
>> world we could go if we wanted.  
>So you think, e.g., that the ancient art of splitting stones,
>largery forgotten these days, was also a step that went nowhere?

We did something with that tech.  As far as opening the space frounteer,
Apollo did as much harm as good.

>>(But it convinced them it could only be done at collosal cost).
>It is true. This is one of the main reasons the other states
>in the world are reluctant to pursue the space technology -
>the convinction that it is collosally expensive.
>Though I wonder if it was due to Apollo (only).

It was the first money-is-no-object big space project.  It shoved aside all
the other projects, and set the standard - or the expectation.

>> >> >So naming it a "Sagan Station" sounds rather denigrating 
>> >> >(for Sagan).
>> >> 
>> >> Actually Sagan might have liked it. He HATED the idea of maned space
>> >> exploration and colonizatino. Went crazy at a meeting where equipment 
>> >> to mine fuel from Phoboes was discused. He wanted space left prestine 
>> >> for robots and science probes.
>> >> 
>> >That is strange. In "Pale Blue Dot" he strongly advocates manned space
>> >exploration and even planet terraforming (he also presented in his
>> >other works various terraforming ideas and scenarios, e.g. for Venus).
>> >He writes in the "Dot" about "ecological" arguments against that,
>> >but only to "show the whole picture", not to really advocate them.
>> That is strange. He threw fits at space comercialization conferences, and
>> almost always argued against maned programs.  I can't figure it.
>Possibly, he came to his senses finally?
>There generally is a big difference in attitude towards
>future of mankind between his "Cosmos" and "Pale Blue Dot".
>Or maybe you confused him with someone else?

No it was him.  The only real maned spoace project he got behind was a joint
US and USSR maned Mars mission.  (He hoped it would lead to better peice and
understanding.)  Never heard of him changing him mind in his closing years.  

>> >However, he was certainly wrong with his "great idea"
>> >of international cooperation (by which he meant mostly 
>> >USA-Russia cooperation) to boost space exploration,
>> >as current state of the ISS shows with a vengeance.
>> >He should have asked the Poles for the opinion instead...
>> Really, I forwarded reports related to that, and I know folks 
>> in ISS were never happy to have to add all te extra costs 
>> and hassel of adding Russia in.
>So it seems to have been another example of miguided politics
>overriding the reason...

Or politician supporting their reason, and no other reason geting comperable

>-- Zenon